NY Giants running back Saquon Barkley didn’t commit on being 100-percent recovered from his ACL tear in comments on the Rich Eisen Show.
And with the division entirely up for grabs heading into 2021, Barkley figures to play a critical role.
Barkley, of course, suffered a devastating ACL tear two weeks into last season, which played a major factor in the G-Men’s offense finishing next to last in scoring in 2020. And while ACL tears are devastating for any player, they can be especially tricky for running backs.
So it’s no surprise Rich Eisen of The Rich Eisen Show prompted Barkley to comment about his recovery and whether or not he’d be 100 percent in time for training camp and, eventually, New York’s regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 12.
Saquon Barkley says he’s taking it ‘one day at a time’
Barkley’s response might not generate a lot of enthusiasm among the NY Giants’ fanbase:
"The focus is to take it one day at a time and kind of go with the flow, listen to your body, listen to your team, and listen to your trainers."
Eisen also asked if Barkley was possibly going to start the year on the physically unable-to-play (PUP) list to start the year, and Barkley responded by saying, “those were conversations we haven’t had yet.”
It would certainly be a lot more reassuring if Barkley noted he was on schedule or at least getting close to a return. Instead, his comments remained awfully vague and didn’t necessarily hint at him being ready to return anytime soon.
“The only I can do is take it one day at a time and keep that approach,” Barkley added.
In the wake of Barkley’s injury last season, the G-Men fielded now-San Francisco 49ers running back Wayne Gallman, who accounted for 682 rush yards, six touchdowns and averaged 4.6 yards per carry over 10 starts.
But with Gallman now on the mix, any Barkley absence to start the season would likely force his current backups — Devontae Booker, Corey Clement and perhaps even Gary Brightwell — into a more prominent role.
NY Giants need Saquon Barkley back sooner than later
With pressure on third-year quarterback Daniel Jones to perform at a higher level than what was seen in 2020, New York didn’t hesitate to surround him with a slew of new weapons, particularly wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney.
Yet Barkley still figures to be the driving force behind whatever offense the NY Giants want to field this season in what will likely still be a run-first mantra under head coach Joe Judge.
It’s possible Barkley is intentionally remaining hush about his recovery and will eventually be fine, taking a page out of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s book of being elusive on such topics anyways.
Remember, Judge is a Belichick understudy anyway, so one can’t rule out the thinking Barkley is intentionally being vague here.
That said, it would certainly be much more reassuring for the fanbase to know Barkley is ready to go for camp, which will officially kick off on July 27.